Alastor, or The Spirit of Solitude (Shelley)

Acrylic on paper mounted on panel, 59.4 x 84 cm. 2022. 

Abstract illustration of Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem Alastor, or The Spirit of Solitude. A young poet journeys at random into the wilderness, through all manner of strange untrodden landscapes, from caverns and forests to desolate mountain regions. Some excerpts:

 

  Grey rocks did peep from the spare moss, and stemmed

  The struggling brook . . . 

  And nought but gnarlèd roots of ancient pines

  Branchless and blasted, clenched with grasping roots

  The unwilling soil

   ***

  On every side now rose

  Rocks, which, in unimaginable forms,

  Lifted their black and barren pinnacles

  In the light of evening

   ***

  . . . Ivy clasped

  The fissured stones with its entwining arms,

  And did embower with leaves for ever green.


The painting is not supposed to illustrate any particular part of the poem, but evoke the overall hallucinatory quality of the sublime wilderness (chaotic, terrifying, strangely homely and unhomely at the same time).

For sale. Please enquire